DAREDEVIL #602 / Writer: Charles Soule / Artist: Mike Henderson / Color Artist: Matt Milla / Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles / Main Cover Artists: Chris Sprouse, Karl Story, & Marte Garcia / Published May 16th. 2018
Daredevil has become the mayor of New York City. Well, technically Daredevil is still an escaped felon arrested under the anti-vigilante laws, his alter-ego Matt Murdock is the new mayor. The Kingpin, Wilson Fisk, was originally elected with a campaign that echoed our real-world politics and as a way of keeping his enemies close, he appointed Matt Murdock as the deputy mayor. Now, The Hand has attacked New York and made an attempt on Fisk’s life. Matt Murdock is the only person who can save the city, but will it be as Daredevil or as the city’s new leader?
Matt Murdock is not a very good mayor. To be fair, he’s only had the job for about 2 hours, but he is struggling with how to deal with this massive attack on the city. To make it worse, it doesn’t seem like there is any rhyme or reason behind the attack. The Hand has not made any demands or issued any decrees. They seem to be content with attacking the city’s infrastructure and security. Matt has gotten so desperate that he reaches out to his former partner, Foggy Nelson, to help him. Foggy and Matt had a falling out over the means by which Daredevil restored his secret identity. Matt Murdock may not be a very good mayor, but he knows how to use people and their strengths to help him.
Daredevil #602 relies upon a lot of knowledge from prior issues. I had to go back and re-read the last 2 issues to remember everything that happened. This is not an issue that new readers could jump blindly into. New York is huge and with the whole city under siege, it does make sense that the story would involve a lot of moving pieces. Continuity and continuing plot threads are not a bad thing, but it’s a lot to keep up with here.
While it does require you to be fresh on the previous issues, Charles Soule’s story is a good one. The tension can be felt in every panel. Mike Henderson’s art is great at conveying the emotions of the characters. Even though most of the issue takes place either outside at night or under the fluorescent lights of City Hall, Matt Milla’s colors keep the story visually interesting, always making it clear when we have jumped to another hero or under Daredevil’s radar sense. The cutaways to the other heroes fighting throughout the city are some of my favorite panels. In a just single frame, they tell us so much about what is happening out in the streets. Half of this issue is bureaucrats arguing about the powers of the mayor in his office, but it never gets boring. That is definitely the mark of a good creative team. When the superheroics take over in the second half, the action is classic Daredevil: high flying acrobatics and undead ninjas.
Daredevil #602 is a good story that balances Matt Murdock’s new role as a civilian leader and his need to be a superhero, both of which are trying to save the city. However, we are now in the third issue in this story arc and it’s still unclear what the Hand wants, we have pieces but we don’t know anything about the larger picture. I’m hoping that the next issue will start to give us an idea of the Hand’s plans and what is truly at stake.
VERDICT 3.5 out of 5